SOURCE: Del Monte Foods

November 21, 2005 11:27 ET

Del Monte Announces Products and Programs That Enable Healthy Lifestyles and Bring Families Together

With the Help of Celebrity Chef Art Smith, Del Monte Launches Del Monte Daily ™ Initiative Empowering Families to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 21, 2005 -- As more Americans strive for a balanced and nutritious diet as part of a healthier lifestyle, Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM) -- a Company with a long tradition of providing healthy and good-for-you products -- announces the launch of Del Monte Daily™, an initiative that enables families to lead a healthier lifestyle by eating more fruits and vegetables and reconnecting with each other during a wholesome meal.

"Health and wellness is one of the primary trends in the marketplace today. Del Monte's products and marketing programs deliver on this trend and provide consumers with the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle," said Richard G. Wolford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Del Monte Foods. "We are committed to providing nourishing, great-tasting and easy-to-use products that unite and gather families and friends around the table. A family meal has always been important, but research shows it serves an even more critical role today in nourishing and enriching families, especially children."

Del Monte Daily

Del Monte Daily is an integrated marketing initiative that supports the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a way to maintain a healthful lifestyle. Specifically, it encourages everyone in the family to eat approximately 4 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, equaling approximately half a plate of fruits and vegetables at every meal. The initiative features: a partnership with celebrity chef, Art Smith; a dedicated online destination, www.delmontedaily.com, that is a one-stop source for delicious meal ideas, nutrition tips, pantry must-haves and much more; new products that make it easier for families to eat more fruits and vegetables; exciting in-store activities; and, consumer promotions.

Chef Art Smith, celebrity chef and award-winning cookbook author, will support the Del Monte Daily initiative by providing delicious and healthful meal ideas that help bring the family together. "I take an extremely realistic approach to cooking, and I want to create recipes that are not only nutritious and great tasting, but also affordable and convenient so they can easily fit into anyone's daily lifestyle," said Chef Smith. "Anything that we can do to help families reconnect during a shared, wholesome meal is worthwhile and programs like Del Monte Daily offer valuable resources for those who are looking for wholesome, quick meal solutions."

In addition to recipe development, Chef Smith will appear in Del Monte Daily marketing and promotional materials, conduct personal appearances and interviews and will be featured on www.delmontedaily.com.

Del Monte Daily's online destination, www.delmontedaily.com, provides consumers with unlimited access to healthful meal solutions, shopping lists, a personalized recipe box, tips for helping children eat more fruits and vegetables, recommendations on how to stock a perfect pantry and much more.

"Del Monte Daily is focused on helping people overcome the hurdles of healthy eating," said Apu Mody, Managing Director, Del Monte Brands. "With Del Monte Daily, consumers can easily eat more fruits and vegetables daily and begin to enjoy the benefits of a balanced diet, an essential part of healthy living."

The initiative launches in November 2005 with a "healthy holidays" program and will continue into 2006 with efforts that focus on family mealtime, cooking with kids and colorful recipe ideas.

New Products That Enable a Healthy Lifestyle

Continuing to offer products that are on-trend with consumers' health and wellness needs, Del Monte is launching two new, innovative and healthy tomato products, including:

--  Del Monte® Garden Select® tomatoes, which are the first jarred
    product of their kind, offer taste and texture more like fresh tomatoes
    straight from the garden.  New Del Monte Garden Select tomatoes start with
    vine-ripened tomatoes that are carefully cut, perfectly seasoned and packed
    within hours after harvest.  The tomatoes are minimally processed to
    preserve their fresh taste and firm texture.  This new product, which comes
    in a 14.5 ounce glass jar, enables consumers to have "more like fresh"
    tomatoes anytime with three varieties, including Sliced, Petite-Diced and
    Petite-Diced with Basil, Garlic & Oregano.  The products retail for $1.89.
--  Del Monte® Organic tomatoes are the same high-quality, great-tasting
    tomatoes that consumers have always enjoyed, now grown under strict United
    States Department of Agriculture organic standards.  The tomatoes, which
    come in five varieties, contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
    The retail price ranges from $.60 to $1.89 depending on the product.
    
Del Monte continues to offer consumers the ultimate in convenience, nutrition and year-round availability, with a variety of fruit and vegetable products that make it easy to eat right, including:

--  Fruit Naturals® single serve cups of Red Grapefruit and Pineapple
    Chunks to Orchard Select® and SunFresh® glass jars of Apricot Halves,
    Citrus Salad and Peaches to a wide range of fruits in cans and plastic, Del
    Monte's fruit products offer a convenient way to get important nutrients.
--  Del Monte vegetable products from Del Monte® Summer Crisp Corn to
    Del Monte® Green Beans to Del Monte® Zucchini in Tomato Sauce, which
    are picked and packed within hours of harvesting -- locking in the natural
    nutrition -- and are already sliced, diced and seasoned.
    
The Benefits of Eating Healthy Together

Del Monte offers simple and easy ways to expand the weekly cooking repertoire by offering healthy meals that bring the family together. This supports a growing movement to educate Americans about the beneficial role that the family meal plays in the development, health and success of the nation's children.

Research indicates that children who consistently eat a healthful and balanced diet are more likely to do better in school, perform better on standardized tests and have fewer behavioral problems. Additional studies have found that children who typically eat dinner with their parents are less likely to use illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

"A variety of convenient fruit and vegetable products take the stress out of creating a wholesome and delicious meal, which means less time in the kitchen and more time with your family," said Laura Molseed, Registered Dietitian, Del Monte Foods.

Studies also show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables today can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases in the future and play a role in weight management. "Half a plate of fruits and vegetables combined with lean protein and whole grains at every meal will help consumers achieve the long-term health benefits of a balanced diet," added Molseed. "The Del Monte Daily platform is an important step in providing can-do ways for people to consume nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables and tomato products on a regular basis."

For Del Monte Daily meal ideas, nutrition information and to learn more about Chef Smith, visit www.delmontedaily.com.

About Del Monte Foods

Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest and most well known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded and private label food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating over $3 billion in net sales in fiscal 2005. With a powerful portfolio of brands including Del Monte®, Contadina®, StarKist®, S&W®, Nature's Goodness™, College Inn®, 9Lives®, Kibbles 'n Bits®, Pup-Peroni®, Snausages®, Pounce® and Meaty Bone®, Del Monte products are found in nine out of ten American households. For more information on Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE: DLM), visit the Company's website at www.delmonte.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACTS:

    Michelle Faist
    Del Monte Foods
    412/222-8123

    Abbie Pauley
    Ketchum
    412/456-3596